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IEC Puts New Strategic Plan Into Action

IEC spent the latter part of 2021 and early 2022 workshopping and developing an updated strategic plan to guide our organization's work for the next 3 to 5 years and beyond. While many of the issues we sought to address at our founding 25 years ago remain, some have taken on new urgency, like climate change, and some, such as environmental justice, are emerging areas of focus for IEC.

After months of preparation and planning, we're working to mold our work in this new plan. You can review the plan online, where our website language has been updated to reflect the changes. "We're excited to be putting our plan into action," said Executive Director Brian Campbell. "After months of input and effort by IEC staff, board leaders, partners, and other supporters, we are ready to embark on the next phase of environmental change in Iowa. We believe Iowa can be a leader in mitigating the effects of climate change and achieve our goal of being a 100% clean energy state. That work is guided by a commitment to environmental justice, since we know the consequences of climate change and pollution are not experienced equally by all Iowans." 

As with all strategic plans, the news strategic plan is a living document reflecting IEC's vision and goals, providing guidance along with flexibility for our future work. We invite you to view the plan to learn more and join us on our journey into Iowa's healthy, sustainable future. 

More IEC News

Proposed rail merger may bring significant environmental impacts to Iowa 

A proposed merger between Canadian Pacific Railway Limited (CP) and Kansas City Southern (KCS) is currently before the Surface Transportation Board (STB). If approved, the CP mainline between Sabula, Iowa, and Kansas City, Missouri, would see rail traffic increase by more than 14 trains a day transporting Canadian oil. 

Iowans have spoken out against the merger at public meetings and through written comments. Learn more about the proposed merger and how you can submit your comments by the deadline of October 14.  

IEC and partners seek to strengthen CAFO rules in Iowa; DNR now taking comments on new draft rules

IEC has petitioned for revisions to animal feeding operation (AFO) rules in the last year, but the requests were denied or remain in process in part because DNR promised to initiate a more comprehensive rulemaking in 2022. 

DNR released proposed updates to the state’s AFO rules in August. The changes consolidate different sections, rearrange pieces, and make some tweaks. Unfortunately, Iowa’s dismal water quality needs more than tweaks.

Learn more about the draft changes and take action.

Reliability webinar draws industry and municipal leaders; webinar and resources now available

Last month, IEC and partners hosted John Norris, Former Commissioner on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and former Iowa Utilities Board chairman, and  transmission and energy industry expert Michael Goggin for a discussion about how wind and solar energy have been successfully integrated into Iowa’s electric grid, and how more clean energy can be integrated for a secure and reliable grid of the future.

The webinar recording is now available to watch on demand, as well as a detailed fact sheet prepared by Michael Goggin. 


Upcoming IEC Events

Upcoming Environmental Events 

10/8 - Iowa River Clean Up, Johnson County  
10/8 - Save Our Streams training, Bellevue
10/8 - Canoe Clean up on Easter Lake, Des Moines
10/9 - Save Our Streams training, Maquoketa
10/11 - Solar Energy in Iowa: Policies and Practices, Iowa City
10/12 - Advancing Environmental Justice through the Inflation Reduction Act, Online
10/13 - 10/14 - Iowa Ideas Virtual Conference 
10/13 - Get Charged Up! EV Event, Calmar
10/15 - Walk For the Wild, Prairie City
10/15 - Save Our Streams training, McGregor
10/15 - Annual Symposium: Wild Landscapes, Des Moines 
10/18 - Clean Water Act 50th Anniversary Party, Davenport
10/19 - Climate Conversations, Nevada
10/22 - Johnson Center Forum: Agriculture & Climate Sustainability, Des Moines
10/25 - IEC Annual Membership Meeting, Des Moines and Virtual
10/29 - Save Our Streams training, Clive
11/2 - 11/3 - Fall 2022 Equity Summit, Online
11/9 - SILTFest Des Moines
11/10 - IEC's Green Gala & Art Auction, Des Moines
11/20 - Iowa Organic Conference, Iowa City

Organizational Member News

The real meaning of WOTUS

This week, the Supreme Court is revisiting the question of which wetlands and streams are subject to the jurisdiction of federal agencies – yet another chapter in the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) controversy.

The importance of this legal back and forth for agriculture and water quality has been greatly exaggerated. In practice, the definitions haven’t changed much. 

Learn more in this blog post from Prairie Rivers of Iowa.

ELPC Thinks: 2023 outlook on
EVs for the Midwest

Significant federal and state legislation and market forces are creating tremendous opportunities for funding, manufacturing, and purchasing electric vehicles of all kinds. 

In this discussion, recorded September 29, ELPC staff offered snapshots of some of the trends behind what’s expected to result in dramatic increases of EVs of all kinds rolling onto our roads and highways next year and beyond. Watch now

Johnson Co. acquires 83 acres
near Solon for public use

Johnson County has acquired 83 acres  land, which includes 64 acres of forest, 15.5 acres of reconstructed prairie and a 3.5-acre farmstead for public use.

A unique part of the land transaction is that seven acres of prairie have been donated to the Iowa Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska.

Learn more about plans for the property.

Photo courtesy of the Gazette

Iowa Water News

Investigate Midwest - Voluntary measures may not be enough: Bacteria and algae plague Iowa beaches

Iowa Capital Dispatch - Two-thirds of state beaches had swim advisories this year, group says

IEC  - IEC calls for action to reduce nutrient pollution

Farm Progress - What do you know about your well water?

KCRG - Show you care: Volunteering to keep an eye on Iowa water quality

Grist - What's protected under the Clean Water Act? The Supreme Court is about to decide

Scientific American - A growing drinking water crisis threatens American cities and towns

American Rivers - Naturally stronger: How natural water infrastructure can save money and improve lives

Iowa Energy News

Des Moines Register MidAmerican wants to invest $3.9B in renewable energy. Environmentalists, big power users demand to see data.

IEC - IEC joins in filing motion seeking MidAmerican's withheld coal studies

Cedar Rapids Gazette - Transition to clean energy grid critical, requires commitment, advocates say 

IEC - No sweat: Wind pulled its weight in steamy Midwest summer

Corridor Business Journal - Renewable energy report highlights economic impact in Iowa

Iowa Capital Dispatch - Report says many utilities are slow-walking clean energy goals

Utility Dive - Will the Inflation Reduction Act spur clean energy manufacturing in the US? Tax experts say yes

K923 Radio - Eastern Iowa company assuring wind turbine blades stay out of landfills

Union of Concerned Scientists - Can the electric grid handle EV charging?

WHO13 News - What are green jobs and how can I get one? 5 questions answered about clean energy careers

Iowa Climate News

Iowa's News Now - 12th annual climate statement: Benefits of Iowa's trees in helping combat climate change

Public News Service - IA leaders face new pressure to study climate change

Des Moines Register - Editorial: Iowans can capitalize on biggest-ever climate-change law

Grist - The Corn Belt will get hotter. Farmers will have to adapt

Iowa Capital Dispatch - Clash over climate change funding emerging in farm bill debate 

Bleeding Heartland Little of USDA's conservation spending went to 'climate smart' agriculture

Southeast Iowa Union - Iowa's role in climate smart agriculture

CNN - More than 300 all-time heat records were broken in the US this summer

NPRWhy tackling climate change means a stronger economy - according to Janet Yellen

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